First time home buyers: What to look for and what to ignore
When shopping for your first home it can be hard to narrow down what you want, and stick to a list of needs. It’s easy to get distracted by staging or design work, or location, and miss great attributes or glaring problems to a future home. While house hunting it’s important to make a list of what you absolutely need in a home, and some things that you’d want in a home. You need to know what your deal breakers are before you go out hunting. Here’s a list of what to look for in a property and what you should over look.
Don’t get distracted by the staging. It’s meant to make the home look appealing to you. Try not to focus on cosmetic or topical design elements, but focus more on the structure of the home. There could be a particularly tricky room, that a stager has laid out flawlessly, but you may not possess the same furniture or design elements. Ask yourself what you could really do with that room. These staging accessories are designed to appeal to you, they can sometimes trick you into liking a property that otherwise wouldn’t appeal to you.
Good staging can help you see the potential that the home has, but be sure to ask yourself if it’s the home you love and not the furniture or design in it.
You may want to find houses within a certain neighborhood or area. Maybe it has the best schools or is the most walk-able to downtown. Whatever the reason, don’t let your desire to live in this area overshadow what you’re looking for in a home. You may find a cute home in the neighborhood that you love but it could be 1-2 bedrooms or bathrooms short of what you’re looking for. If it’s a popular neighborhood, you could be priced out of what you’re looking for too. You need to decide if paying more for a smaller home is worth it to you, even if it’s in the neighborhood that you desire.
Even though a home may appear less attractive than you’re looking for, it’s important to consider what features are cosmetic to a home and which aren’t. For example, you may hate the external paint color, but paint colors are always things you can fix about a home. Minor adjustments can always be made, whether it’s a tiny kitchen or bathroom renovation, etc. Know what can be changed later and what’s important to focus on now.
Along the same vein of this, don’t think that every problem is an easy fix. Making a layout more open by knocking down walls, is an expensive change to a home. It may be more financially smart to find a home with an existing open layout.